Cloud Computing Offers Text Message Monitoring for Midsize Businesses

By | Jun 5, 2012

As mobile phones and smartphones become prominent in business processes, text messaging is also a way for business employees to communicate. Just like monitoring email messages is necessary for company protection, businesses have also needed a way to monitor text messages in case of data theft or when employees sell company data to a competitor. For midsize businesses, keeping data secure from competitors is an important aspect when entrusting employees with data communications outside of the corporate network.

Ars Technica announced that Uppity, a cloud computing technology company, released a software application that stores and backs up text messages to the cloud. The messages are available to IT managers, who can read the data from anywhere. The cloud storage device can also allow for employees to go back and read old text messages if the phone is stolen or lost.

For consumers concerned about privacy and snooping on private phones, the Uppity software does not run until the business manager or IT manager configures the phone for monitoring. This means that the software can't be installed without the user's consent. If the software is simply installed without being configured, the owner of the phone is prompted to set up the backup software with a username and password.

The application works in the background for Android and BlackBerry phones. However, the iPhone has restrictions for applications that work in the background on text messages. Text messages automatically upload to the cloud server for the Android and BlackBerry phones. Any iPhone user must manually synchronize the data with the cloud hosting server.

For businesses and IT managers concerned with data security, the Uppity service encrypts the data before storing it to the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. The encrypted messages must have the private key before they can be read from the cloud host.

With more business employees working on the road and taking work home with them, private business data is more vulnerable to espionage and data leaks. Companies need a way to monitor data to protect corporate interests. Since text messages can contain data and even attachments in the form of images and documents, this new technology protects corporate interests in case data leaks are transmitted outside of the corporate network.

If businesses choose not to store text messages, they should educate users on the importance of encryption and safety when using mobile phones. Users do not always need monitoring, but careful use of a smartphone protects the internal network from data theft.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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